In Votive Mess Nia Davies asks how time and desire move us errantly. Her second collection follows her startling debut All fours, emerging from an immersion in performance and ritual. The poems trace a path through the peaks and troughs of performance, bouncing between enchantment and disenchantment. These works are studies in the altered states of travel, masks, comedy, learning and love. Nia Davies begins to learn a lost mother tongue, iaith Cymraeg, and presents unfinished experiments in liminality.
Votive Mess is a book of small rebellions against systems of exhaustion and alienation, embracing lingual brambles and shabby theatre to assemble fragments gleaned from the rubble of Babel. There are love letters drowsy and excessive as well as uncanny happenings on stage and in the woods.
Votive Mess is composed out of a tangle of sex, leaf, stumbles on stage, damage, blackberries and dyslexia. There is a discharge of Awen, otherwise known as poesis. The navel of the dream is inside out.
Nia Davies' first full-length collection, All fours (Bloodaxe Books, 2017), was shortlisted for the Roland Mathias Poetry Award 2018 (Wales Book of the Year Awards) and longlisted for the 2019 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize.
‘For all their humour and disarming daftness, Davies’s poems do make space for the serious, the pertinent, the uncomfortable… Profane and charismatic, lovely and at times infuriating, Nia Davies’s poetry glitters above all thanks to its energy.’ – Leaf Arbuthnot, The Times Literary Supplement, on All fours
‘Nia Davies’ peculiar and witty All fours is an interrogation of language and sexuality, psychoanalysis and gender, violence and the body, and the values and meaning that we assign to each. Her poetry is surprising, strange, experimental… All fours is challenging, but its content…is urgent.' – Suzannah V. Evans, New Welsh Review
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